The recession has led to a rise in a stress-induced skin disease, according to new research published today.
Rates of eczema and other skin conditions have particularly increased among young women, with 60% reporting anxiety-related break-outs in the past year.
Experts blamed strain brought on by the economic downturn for the growth in flare-ups.
Jeannette Brazel, chairwoman of the Irish Eczema Society said her group had seen a surge in interest over the past 12 months.
“The skin and mind are closely linked and a lot of studies suggest links between stress and eczema,” she said.
“We have certainly noticed an increase in traffic to our Irish Eczema Society website in the past year, especially amongst adults looking for information and advice on eczema care.”
Financial and family strains may explain the boost in break-outs among women under 35 in the past year, Ms Brazel added.
“They may have young children and more of an economic burden recently from mortgages and job issues,” she said.
Of 1,000 Irish adults surveyed, 42% suffered from redness, rashes or itchy skin.
A third of respondents linked their skin problems to anxiety, with more than half reporting extra stress in the last year.
The survey was conducted by Dundalk-based skincare brand Elave.
Its spokeswoman Joanna Gardiner said learning to cope with anxiety could help reduce the number of painful flare-ups.
“Stress can have a profound impact on our skin,” she said. “In challenging times when many people are worried about finances and employment, it comes as no surprise that this is increased.”
The findings coincide with National Eczema Week, which runs until Saturday.
During the week pharmacies and hospitals nationwide will be issuing information packs and dispensing advice on the condition to sufferers.